Claim: A viral WhatsApp message claims that billionaire businessman, Obi Cubana, is giving out N25,750, as part of plans to celebrate his mother’s funeral.
The claim is FALSE. The website is also found to be phony.
Recently, Obinna Iyiegwu, popularly known as Obi Cubana, thrust himself and his hometown, Oba in Anambra State, into limelight when he laid his mother to rest with the mother of all funerals, a lavish event that would make the living envy the dead.
Mr. Iyiegwu, a billionaire and chief executive officer of Cubana Group, is known to be a philanthropist, who has empowered youths within and outside his community.
Mrs Iyiegbu, who passed away in December 2020, was buried on Friday, at Oba, in Anambra State.
At the funeral, wads of money in various currencies and denominations rent the air and scattered across the grounds, in a show of extravagance, courtesy of friends and associates who came to rejoice or mourn with Obi and family. Days after the funeral, the media space is still filled with frenzy from the event – the most talked-about in Nigeria at the time.
A WhatsApp message making rounds claims that Obi Cubana is giving out N25,750 to people as part of celebration of his mother’s funeral.
The forward-as-received message seeks to direct users to a blog website using the URL shortener service, bit.ly.
The message reads: “OBI CUBANA GIVEAWAY
N25,750 giveaway as part of OBI CUBANA Mothers Burial.
This Giveaway is Available to All
After clicking the attached link, users are directed to https://obigiveaway.blogspot.com/?m=1, a site which opens with a message: “OBI CUBANA is celebrating his mother’s burial with giveaway to all interested people, Get Your Own ₦25,750 By Filling The Form Below👇👇”.
Dubawa found that the page is hosted on blogspot, Google’s free blogging and domain service. The layout and design of the page is shabby and unprofessional, which is quite odd for a scheme purportedly owned by a billionaire.
The page requests an email address and Dubawa submits a wrong one to enable access to the other pages of the form. The next page opens with a congratulatory message: “You have been selected to benefit from the GIVEAWAY provided by OBI CUBANA MOTHERS BURIAL”.
Thereafter, users are requested to answer three successive questions “to benefit immediately”:
“Question 1 of 3: Are you Obi Cubana fans? Yes, No, Others
Question 2 of 3: What is your marital status? Married, Single, Divorced
Question 3 of 3: Why do you What This Giveaway? Data, Food, Alcohol”.
After supplying answers to the questions, users are required to share the information with “15 friends and groups”. Completion of this step, the site says, will allow users “obtain the withdrawal code from the electronic counter”
Screenshot of the invitation page
The notification reads: “You may get the with only one step, kindly click the “Invite Friends/Group” button below to share this information with 15 friends or 5 groups on WhatsApp so That They Can Also Benefit.”
Assessment of the information on the page shows irregular capitalization of words, grammatical and spelling errors, which breeds doubts about its authenticity. These errors are spotted in the headline and some questions. For instance Question 3 asks:“Why do you What This Giveaway?”.
Dubawa also observed a section on the page purportedly showing facebook comments. A closer look revealed that it is actually an image designed by the owners to deceive gullible users with the impression of an embedded facebook comment section.
Following through with the process, Dubawa did 15 clicks on the “invite friends/groups” button and got redirected to the final page – “the final step of human verification”.
The page reads: “To facilitate the sending of money you must complete this final step of Human Verification!
You need to be careful to carry out tasks that you will be paid according to your Account Type.
(Remember, this step is very important)
Now Select your account type”.
Users are given the options: Savings Account and Current Account, to select from.
Selecting either of the options, opened another website in a new tab. Using the inspect element option, Dubawa observed that both account options had been programmed to redirect users to this website and not a payment gateway to process the transfer of the supposed N25,750 giveaway, as one would expect.
The message widely circulating on WhatsApp claiming that billionaire businessman, Obi Cubana, was giving out N25,750 to celebrate his mother’s burial is FALSE.
At the end of the process on the website, no money is given as claimed.
Dubawa found that the website is not authentic, spotting spelling and grammatical errors. We also found other phony websites sharing the same false claim, further casting shadows on the authenticity of the scheme.